Oakland Press Conference Thursday @ 12:30

Liveblog here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit excited. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Oakland press conference, in which the four ballpark site candidates will be announced. For me, it’s like an early Christmas present. Presents don’t usually translate into extra work. In this case I welcome it. Other than the locations, I don’t know what to expect. Surely there will be numerous people surrounding Mayor Dellums, providing a united front. I hope to see beautiful artistic renderings and site plans. I’m trying not to set my expectations too high.

For Oakland, the journey to get a new ballpark started some months ago, with a petition drive and Facebook group. I have criticized supporters at times for making too much of the petition drive, yet it’s important even though it’s mostly symbolic. The journey has only started. The remainder of the journey is alternately arduous and boring. It could seem like it’s going forever, it could end as abruptly as a lightning strike. Is Oakland up for it? We’re about to find out.

Update: A similar article describing the press conference is now up on the A’s website. Multiple articles describe the site as Jefferson and Embarcadero West, which doesn’t make much sense to me. Part of the power plant is on one side, with Cost Plus in the middle and the JLS garage on the other. Either the power plant block or the garage will have to go. I’ll stop now and wait for the press conference.

Also, on yesterday’s KNBR Morning Show Steve Kettmann was interviewed about his San Francisco Magazine piece. Kettman, who now lives the expat lifestyle in Berlin, adds some excellent context to his piece. Worth a listen.

47 thoughts on “Oakland Press Conference Thursday @ 12:30

  1. ML, I think this is a good opportunity to ponder why MLB is taking so long with it’s “Blue Ribbon Panel”

    Some think that Selig is still putting together his “consesus” amongst the owners to deal with TR’s. While that may be true, I still think that the state of the economy(particularly in California) has much to do with it and that there’s no sense of urgency right now.

    Either Oakland knows something and this press conference is a prelude to MLB’s telling the A’s to stay in the East Bay, or this “dog and pony show” is way late in coming. IMO, Oakland should have done this when the BLP started, not as it was supposedly supposed to be completed.

    This is part of your waiting process, San Jose. And I still think going outside of California will be given at least token consideration before it’s over.

    • Rob, it’s you! Just like ole times. You still in CC Tex? You really, really need to read the recent 12/09 San Francisco Magazine article re: Lew Wolff, John Fisher, A’s and San Jose. It may answer a lot of your questions regarding which direction MLB will turn/whether the A’s are leaving the Bay.

      Also, my take is perhaps the MLB committee has already completed its work and have notified (albeit secretly) the parties involved: A’s, Giants, and SJ. Ever wonder why the Giants/Neukom have been so quiet about the whole thing since the Summer?

  2. Based on everything we’ve read over the past year, most recently being the San Fran Mag article, isn’t this thread providing false hope to Oakland-only supporters?
    All of a sudden the ridiculous Facebook numbers matter? And as stated in the previous thread, where have these wonderful sites (they’re not plans) been for the past 15 years? Oh well, enjoy the news of today, as this will probably be the last, official time we hear anything out of Oakland. On southward my friend!

  3. Really? A press conference this late in the game? I know I’m a cynic by nature, but this reeks of political cover for an impending public relations fiasco.

  4. ML–the side of me that is always excited about urban ballparks is excited to see what they came up with–the A’s fan side of me is more than a bit bummed. I see this as a stall strategy for Oakland to keep MLB/BRC from making a decision on T’rights and a move to SJ that could have the A’s in a new ballpark 2013-2014. Instead we will be subjected to a potential site(s) review—say 6-12 months—and assuming one of those sites is viable an EIR of 18 months—oh did we mention land acquisition with 13-20 private owners, infrastructure improvements…..and money….which Oakland has 0. Optimistaclly we are looking at 2017+; but more likely it will never happen—it will just delay a move to SJ or worse than that….facilitate a move out of the area by taking SJ away as an option.

    As a fan I am getting pretty pissed that we can’t get this ball rolling—I was indifferent to where a ballpark was located…but I now view Oakland’s effort as nothing more than blocking….with no real viable plan as to make this happen. Had they come to today’s press conference with the BRC and 1 site, progress on land acquisition, timeframe for completion of EIR, and ballpark construction than I would be more optimistic but come on……4 sites again!! and why the need for a press conference when the BRC is all you need to convince in order to keep the A’s in Oakland—reeks of a stall tactic and nothing more—AS an A’s Fan I AM BUMMED!

    • GoA’s,
      Like you, I look forward to seeing today’s plans. As an A’s fan (with SJ partisan hat off), I’ve always felt that JLS was the best place for an Oakland urban ballpark; even more so than Uptown. Let’s see what Oakland’s got!
      This all being said, I don’t think today’s news/announcement will affect the SJ/MLB committee effort one bit. The committee isn’t working on behalf of Oakland; they’re working on behalf of MLB and the A’s. And as I stated in the last thread, they’re not bound by anything Oakland presents or does. If the MLB committee has already made a decision or close to making one, today’s news doesn’t have any bearing on their decision/timeline whatsoever.
      Oh yah, you forgot to throw in public financing for an Oakland ballpark. Don’t think Wolff/Fisher will spend $400+ million of their own money, or take his Silicon Valley corporate support, to JLS. I base this on what was stated in the SFMag article.

    • How much money does san jose have? one estimate has their budget deficit at almost $100 million dollars………http://www.sanjoseinside.com has plenty of information about this.

      • What city doesn’t have a huge deficit in their GF? Acquisition of the property in SJ has been going on for 4+ years—using RDA funds—two separate budgets that can’t be comingled by law—RDA is for economic development which is what a ballpark would fall into—Oakland will need to figure out how to come up with the $40-$50M to buy land at their potential site—RDA money is the most likely—but a challenge over the next several years with sacto on a sweep of RDA funds–

  5. Accusing Oakland of “blocking” is no dumber than accusing San Jose of “stealing” Ultimately, the best location should be selected, and I’m good with all avenues being investigated.

    • tps–so if it takes another 10 years for Oakland to do anything your ok with that–sorry–I’m not–time is of the essence here—and to continue to move at a snails pace is not acceptable—1 year since Fremont fell apart—and this is where Oakland is at–4 “potential” sites—sorry–its blocking—Oakland would prefer to have the A’s play at the Coli indefinetely rather than move to SJ–and as a fan—that pisses me off!

      • I don’t see the harm here. If the plans aren’t any good, they won’t block anything, and MLB will continue on schedule for SJ, won’t they? If things in Oakland are good enough to convince MLB to stay put, I’m guessing we’re looking at a 5 o 6 year target. MLB probably won’t be swayed by anything with a clear timeframe beyond that. 5 or 6 years vs. 3 years doesn’t seem worth bursting a vein over. The A’s will continue playing in the Bay Area regardless.

      • tps–key word is “plans”–what plans??—they have four potential sites—not “one” site with a “plan”. Sorry–without a specific project “plan” there is no way to pull all of this together and have a ballpark in Oakland in 5 or 6 years—7 plus assuming that you have willing sellers of the multiple parcels—and of course money to buy them–

      • I can understand where GoA’s is coming from. Like he/she, I’m getting pretty frustrated with the slow pace of things. The City of Oakland had better have it’s game face on, otherwise this will all be just a waste of time. Commit some serious time and money behind this thing, or GET OUT OF THE WAY.

      • Except that gap covers when some important players will be entering their arb. years. Also Beane is only signed through 2014 and we’ve seen how difficult it is to compete these last couple of years.

  6. By the way, outstanding KNBR interview of Steve Kettmann! You should take a listen Rob.

  7. If San Jose is a “done deal”, why is Oakland doing this? It doesn’t make sense. There has to be AT LEAST ONE insider at city hall who is privy to any pending agreement about San Jose.

    Maybe it’s because there is no deal. No question Lew Wolff wants to go to San Jose, but this is pretty much out of his hands now. I still think his days with the A’s are numbered.

    • Georob–would you want to be the politican that was known for losing the local team? Better at least try to create the image that your fighting it–

      Done deal in SJ–doubt it—but you gotta question Oaklands objectives/timing here–why is this news conference not being done jointly with BRC if these are great sites that they will be pursuing?

      Relative to LW—if you read the SF article that pretty much dispelled any of the rumors that Fisher was not happy with Wolff–quite the opposite–only way Wolff is a short timer is if MLB can’t make a decision near term and he and Fisher put the team on the market–in that case —good luck to all of us A’s fans that want to see the team remain in the Bay Area—

  8. Yes Tony, I’m still in CC. We have a magnifcent bayfront ballpark here called Whatburger Field which is the home of the Hooks, who are the Astros AA team. The A’s affiliate from Midland come in twice a year to play.

    The big controversy here is over what do to with the old arena, Memorial Coliseum. Most want it torn down, but it’s a big mess. It’s been boarded up for five years ever since the American Bank Center opened. The only professional sports there is a minor league hockey team, The Rays.

    So Wolff wants to build a sports venue and can’t. And in Corpus, they want to tear down a sports venue and can’t.

    Kind of sums up the difference between Texas and California, if you ask me 🙂

  9. what time is the announcement?

    • can’t wait to see the pp slides. and I hope other people (reporters) were in attendance as well

      • Sounds like channel 2 was there. I want to see the spots… if it is true that the Coliseum Parking lot is one I am gonna puke.

      • I won’t puke, but I hope they have more than this. how long till EIR? do they have the budget? etc…

        why did this take so long?

        and they are just appealing to MLB? don’t they need to impress the A’s?

        ugh. I just don’t think they (city of oakland govt) can handle this.

  10. I love the mural of players on the Baseball Oakland site, but I wonder why they decided to include Philadelphia A’s players.

    • Yeah it is curious… however, I love the dudes wearing the Oakland jersey’s from long ago. The two guys with the striped hats… What the heck team is that, the Oaks? I love it.

  11. Looks like the MLK/3rd site would be a no-go because of over 30 owners, but the OFD site is city-owned. Personally I like Oak/3rd because of easier BART access.

  12. Based on the little info I’ve read from the live blog, I’d say Oakland isn’t in a good spot. With the BRC to report next month, all Oakland has done is come up 4 potential sites (2 of which have already been rejected)… and it sounds like they won’t do anything more until they hear from MLB. Kind of what I feared all along.

  13. Ok so I missed it all–damn biz gets in the way—anything good, positive, constructive–ML–you still excited? KCBS underwhelmed me with their coverage—so hopefully there is more to the big announcement–

    • I don’t understand why they presented anything else. I counted up the properties for MLK/3rd and I count 33 property owners and the structures are far mroe valuable than the structures on the OFD site. Basically 50% more expensive form a land value perspective but even more if you consider the cost of relocating businesses and the fact that 4 of the developable acres at OFD are publicly controlled. I researched the site here:

      http://www.athleticsnation.com/2009/12/3/1176546/greener-grass-episode-8-how-it

      The only reason I can think of is because of the Right’s of Way that run through the area at the OFD are a huge obstacle. But they can’t be much more huge than the cost of MLK/3rd. I am interested ot see the renderings of “JLS North” (aka MLK/.3rd) to see what ti encompasses.

  14. So why introduce 2 retreads when the BRC already supposedly claim they support Oak/3rd? All I can assume is the city figures there will be challenges in the “preferred” site—besides having to acquire 14 acres from 20(?) different landowners what are the other obstacles?

    • I wouldn’t buy that at face value. The BRC favoring OFD, I mean. That is what someone told the reporter, but that doesn’t make it so.

  15. Great news, report by January. At this point I’m rooting for San Jose because I like the momentum they have right now. However, Oakland with a firm plan and ownership backing wouldnt bother one bit.

  16. Just saw Lew Wolff taped in studio on Ch. 5 news. The reporter introduced the taped piece saying Wolff told him the Oakland sites are not feasible.

    Cut to tape:

    “Our initial goal when we purchased the team was to stay in our area, and see if we could develop within Oakland first. We spent a lot more time than people give us credit for, uh, analyzing that… I always say, in California, if you have a cure for cancer, somebody’s gonna be against it. So, we just struck out after six years of spending a lot of money and time…”

    Cut to Bobby Crosby story…

  17. Can anyone believe the stuff that comes out of Wolff’s mouth? You are insulting the intelligence of Oakland A’s fans with your ridiculous assertions regarding your efforts in Oakland. ” We just struck out after six years of spending a lot of money and time.” Wolff spent a great deal of money and time trying to build something in Fremont. How about Oakland? What money did you spend in Oakland and where did you spend it, Mr. Wolff? What sites in Oakland did you push vigorously as you did the site in Fremont and now the site in San Jose? That 66th to High Street cartoon drawing with the Mayor of Fremont in attendance was a sham, and you know it.

  18. Well, it seems like there’s no there there, to quote a famous Oakland native.
    This looks like a very lame effort on Oakland’s part.
    They didn’t even bother lining up the generic footprint with the shoreline at the Howard Terminal site.

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